My son went to a blended pre-school through the school district. One morning, after drop-off, one of the other mom's came up to me and wanted to ask a question.
Mom: Can I ask you a question?
Mom: I read on-line about dolphin therapy. I think you should get your son into dolphin therapy. I'm looking into it for my son.
Me: Sounds expensive. I don't have a dolphin.
Mom: But they say that dolphins are the smartest mammals.
Me: Besides humans.
Mom: Oh, yeah.
Me: I'll look into it for you.
That story is not told to make fun of dolphin therapy nor this particular mother's suggestion.
Father's... you have an incredibly powerful role in raising children with special needs. There are so few of us around. You are almost automatically seen as an expert, or as having an opinion.
When people ask me who they should bring to an IEP to be more intimidating (attorney, advocate, private therapist, etc.) the answer is always the same. Bring the father.
I don't know if this is a true statistic (some of you teachers and administrators out there can tell me), but I bet there is an attorney or advocate present at an IEP more often than a father.
So, Dads, get involved. Chances are, both literally and figuratively, you will always be "the biggest dick in the room".
Seems unfair. Seems like I'm taking advantage of gender stereotypes. Seems like I'm insulting families where the father is not around. I'm not.
I'm writing to the dads that read this... the dads that are around AND the dads that aren't. GET INVOLVED. Your child needs you.
To the families that this isn't possible (i.e death/deployment/work in another state/etc.) go to a grandfather or uncle or friend.
To the pieces of shit that left because they had a child with special needs, go to Hell. You're not a man anyway.